Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Iran thanks saudi arabia for sparing citizens on death row

Thursday, April 19, 2012 E-Mail this article to a friend Printer Friendly Version
TEHRAN: Iran - a country slammed by international rights groups for its state executions - on Wednesday welcomed Saudi Arabia suspending death sentences against several of its nationals convicted for drug trafficking. Iran’s protests over the matter led to intervention from Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, media reported, quoting Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi. “He (Faisal) exerted effort in this regard and the next day he called back and said that, for the time being, the execution of the Iranians has been suspended and this is a good sign,” Salehi said, according to the ISNA news agency. “I am announcing my thanks to Saudi officials,” he said, according to the Mehr news agency. Salehi said Saudi Arabia was considering an offer to extradite the Iranian criminals to Iran instead. In the ISNA report, Salehi added that ‘many’ Iranians were being held in Saudi prisons but did not give a number. Both Iran and Saudi Arabia have been criticised by human rights groups for their high number of executions ordered under their interpretations of Sharia law, which calls for death sentences for a range of crimes including murder, rape and drug trafficking. Iran had executed at least 360 people, three-quarters of them for drugs offences, it said in a report, up from at least 252 in 2010. afp

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